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At The Business Network we welcome new guests to join us; but we also appreciate that a new networking group can be daunting, no matter how seasoned a networker you are. This is why we take the time to ring you prior to an event, to find out about you, your business and your target market. We also take the time to explain what happens at one of our events as this differs between networking groups also.
When you arrive at the venue you will be introduced to one of our members who will chat to you and introduce you to others - you will not be left on your own!
Our round-the-table networking is very relaxed; we liken it to sitting with friends and chatting about your work. This format ensures everyone is at ease and comfortable in the process and when you are relaxed you are more likely to spot opportunities to work together.
After the event, we will ring you to get feedback on how you felt the event went, we will also ask whether you wish to book onto any more of our events. As a non-member you are entitled to visit each of our networks once within a 28 day period, however there are special offers on membership should you join after the first one or two. All this information will be explained to you on our follow up call.
Your badge shows the number and colour of the table you have been allocated…..when taking part in the informal networking pre-lunch try to speak to those not on your table. We will already have spoken to you about the type of business you would like to sit with and, where possible, will have facilitated this.
1st half hour : this is an informal mix and mingle session. If you would like to be introduced to anyone then please have a word with us when you arrive. Be warm and smile to everyone you meet - this may seem obvious, but, sometimes when we're nervous, we forget to smile. Listen to what the other person is saying and look for synergy between you - do you know someone who may be able to use his services? If for some reason you find yourself on your own do not be afraid to go up to a small group of people and 'hover' on the edge: this is not rude, everyone is there to network and they will welcome you.
At your table : get to know the others on your table. You will each get a couple of minutes to explain what it is you do, what you are looking for and why people should do business with you. This is like having a 1- 2 -1 with seven or eight other people! Write down notes on the back of the cards you've received, this helps you remember who said what when you get back to the office. don't be afraid to ask questions if time permits; if you run out of time then take the opportunity to speak with them at the end.
Speak slot : The speaker takes the podium. The speaker slot is reserved for our members.
Feedback : Our table hosts give feedback from each table to the room, so everyone gets to know about you and what you are looking for. Again, make a note if there is someone else you want to speak to in the room, introduce yourself before you leave....even if it is only to exchange cards; you can follow up late.
End : The meeting officially comes to a close, but do not rush away, you can still continue to Network with the others in the room after the formalities have finished…..many find this time very productive.
As a member you would automatically be seated with different people each month but if there are particular people that you would like to share a table with, please let us know.
One of the most important things to do after any networking event is to follow up on the people you've met. Wherever possible add a personal note to your email or telephone call, this shows you were listening to their presentation and makes them feel valued. Always look to help others when networking in business; the most productive networkers in our groups are those that put others, first, second and third.
What types of membership are there?
You may join one specific network eg Swansea, for just £375 + VAT.
A dual membership eg Swansea Breakfast and Cardiff lunchtime will cost just £500 + VAT.
A triple membership will cost £575 + VAT
A Round Robin membership (all networks) will cost just £625 VAT.
All types of membership may be spread over 12 monthly payments
Is Membership specific to me?
No, Membership is Corporate and applies to your Company. You may send up to two representatives to each event but we ask wherever possible that decision makers come along
Can we attend Business Networks in other areas?
You can attend each network once as a guest, but to attend regularly you must become a member.
We have a number of members who have joined all local Business Networks and they get a large part of their business from or through their fellow members. We all have contacts and by sharing and recommending, the amount of business done increases substantially.
Does the Membership fee include the lunch?
No you pay separately for each lunch you attend – although the cost for members is less than that for guests
Can I invite guests to the networking events?
Yes you can and they will be made very welcome. You can stipulate whether you want to sit with them or not. You may invite others yourself or give us their contact details and we will invite them on your behalf.
How many competitors will be there?
We restrict membership to a maximum of four in a category and will ensure that you are not sat with a competitor. In fact our software ensures also that you will not sit with the same person two months in a row.
Can I influence who I sit with?
Yes, if you let us know who you would like to sit with we will put you together as soon as you both book. This can be by named person or by category of business.
How do I become a Speaker?
Simply by having an interesting topic to talk about and asking me for a slot.
Can I hold a seminar before a lunch?
Yes, and often the room is at no charge. Just speak to me about your idea.
How do I get access to the Membership list and can I email them all?
Once you join we will send you a detailed Membership Pack which includes the website access code. Each Member has a link to their own website so you can get more details about them.
We do not encourage Members to email junk to one another, as everyone would soon get fed up. However, if you have a special event coming up we will add it to our regular Member Update and send it free of charge to everyone on your behalf.
How long does it take to get business from other Members?
That depends on what you have to offer and how you put it across. We do however run a free seminar yearly on how to make the most of your attendance and are always happy to give advice. Lynne will meet with you 6 month's into your membership to review whether there is anything more we can do for you.. The Business Network has been running successful networking events since 2001 and the fact we are still here and have members who have been with us since the start - and who are still generating business from the network - proves that the events are successful.
OK, in a nutshell, what separates the successful networkers from the less successful?
The more successful networkers put the dates in their diary and they attend every month. They plan what they are going to say and listen intently for any opportunities. They work with the other members by sharing contact information (it’s not just me you’re talking to – it’s the 150 people I know) and they give other members the chance to pitch for any purchases they make. If people get to know you, like you and trust you then you will get business.
Any last advice?
Yes, if after four or five events you are not making in-roads then do speak to us and we will see how we can help.